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Updated 11:30 AM December 6, 2004




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St. Petersburg String Quartet in residence

Once known as the Leningrad String Quartet and now performing as the St. Petersburg String Quartet, the highly regarded foursome is in residence at the School of Music four times during the 2004-05 academic year, in December, January and March.
Members of the quartet are Leonid Shukaev, Aleksey Koptev, Alla Aranovskaya and David Chernyavsky. (Photo courtesy St. Petersburg String Quartet)

The quartet will work with the school's composition department playing read-throughs of student compositions, making comments and then recording those works.

The quartet also will present a full-fledged concert of works by School of Music faculty Bright Sheng, Evan Chambers and Susan Botti. Students will share the experience of rehearsals for these performances.

The quartet has a history of working with contemporary composers, particularly Russian, but the quartet members are familiar with works by Botti and music professor Michael Daugherty.

So who will offer their composition talents to the quartet? Any student who wants to submit something can, Sheng says. "We will send them to the quartet, and we will try to fit every piece in and read through every score. It won't be a perfect polished performance. But there will be a reading."

Based in Oberlin, Ohio, the St. Petersburg Quartet travels about 270 days a year. Together for nearly 20 years, the quartet was invited to a residency at Oberlin Conservatory in 1997 by Karen Wolff, then-dean of the conservatory and now dean of U-M's School of Music. So it was natural that Wolff was involved in bringing them to campus.

It was Sheng who initiated the idea to invite the quartet to the School of Music. The idea came to him after attending a performance by the quartet at a University Musical Society presentation.

"I was real impressed by the work, so I went to Karen asking if there was any way to bring the quartet for a residency. And she said, 'You know, I may be able to do something'," Sheng says.

The first guest recital by the St. Petersburg String Quartet was last week. For more events involving the quartet, visit the School of Music's online events calendar,

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